William Bellows 1939-2024

William Gene (Bill) Bellows, passed away on March 3, 2024 at his home in Kirk, Colorado.  Bill was born September 20, 1939, in Livingston, Montana to parents Lucile Wood Bellows and John C Bellows. Graduating from high school in Livingston in 1959, he embarked on a journey marked by resilience, dedication, and unwavering determination.

As a teenager,, Bill underwent groundbreaking open heart surgery at the University of Minnesota, becoming the longest living survivor of the procedure by decades. This early challenge didn’t deter him; instead, it instilled in him a remarkable strength that defined his character throughout his life.

In 1959, he married Kathy Taylor of Pray, Montana, and together they welcomed their daughter, Shelly. Later, he found love again with Loretta Stumper, whom he married on October 1, 1963. Their union brought forth the blessings of Tami in February of 1965, and son Shawn in 1967, followed by Stefanie in 1972.

Bill]’s professional journey was as diverse as it was distinguished. Initially working as a logger, then a hunting guide while Loretta joined the adventures as a camp cook, working as a faller in the logging industry, he then ventured into the Seattle area to work for Boeing.  In Washington, he soon discovered his true passion in the telephone industry. Joining Pacific Northwest Bell, he began as a cable splicer and swiftly climbed the ranks, serving in various capacities including lineman, sub foreman, foreman, and supervisor. His dedication and leadership were evident throughout his career, culminating in his retirement from USWest in 1993. Even in retirement, his work ethic remained unparalleled as he continued to contribute as a contractor, inspecting, splicing, and engineering until 2022.

A man of many talents and adventures, Bill, together with his devoted wife Loretta, found joy in building the Little Divide Ranch south of Roundup, Montana, and in his retirement job–contract work that took him to states far and wide, including memorable projects on the George Washington Bridge in New York and New Jersey alongside his son, Shawn, as well as working in several states for Shawn’s company, Cowboy Communications, inspecting and splicing with Loretta, and most recently contracting for Plains Telephone Cooperative of Joes, Colorado.

He was preceded in death by his son, Thad, as well as his parents, Lucille and John, and his brothers, Norman (Butch), Russell, John, and Jerry. He is survived by his loving wife, Loretta, his children Stefanie, Shawn, Tami, and Shelly, his brother Terry of Mesa, Arizona, sister Sandra Buchaklian of Billings, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Bill’s legacy of resilience, hard work, and ingenuity will be long remembered by all who knew him. A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at Crazy Peak Boutique in Big Timber, Montana on July 13, at 3:00.